2018 looks set to be the busiest year ever for BMW in terms of new model launches, with new models in virtually ever sector of the market keeping the Bavarian brand at the forefront of automotive technology and premium appeal.
There are no less than 10 cars that are new for 2018, either as just-on-sale models or those that will be launched later in the year.
Here they are:
Based on the X1, the new X2 will follow BMW’s theme of producing a coupe off the back of a standard SUV and giving it an even number. The newcomer has just gone on sale, powered by the same four-cylinder petrol and diesel engine line-up as the more traditional X1. It’s a niche car, but quite a cool one.
9. i8 Roadster
The i8 coupe has been with us for a while now, but it has taken BMW quite some time to finally lop the roof off and answer the pent-up demand for a soft-top. The newcomer retains the coupe’s electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains, and promises to be just as engaging to drive. Sales are due to start in late spring.
8. 6-Series GT
BMW’s previous 5-Series GT was always a sluggish seller, with buyers not really understanding the beefed up executive coupe’s real identity. For 2018, it will be revised and rebranded as the 6-Series GT, using a name that has long been associated with coupe models. It will join the four-door and two-door 6-Series models, but with the added practicality of a hatchback.
As with the X2, the X4 takes the theme of building a coupe-SUV from the basis of a standard SUV, in this case the X3. The new X4 uses the same four and six-cylinder engine line-up as the X3, along with a sports-oriented M-Sport to further enhance its performance SUV credentials.
The new X3 is already on sale and will be a key model for BMW in 2018. Leaner, faster and more efficient than its predecessor, it’s also one of the most affordable ways into BMW SUV ownership. There’s also a new X3 M high performance model – BMW’s line-up really does cater for every possible niche.
For X7, read Q7. BMW’s Audi-baiting luxury SUV will be the brand’s biggest 4x4 yet, setting he bar even higher than that set by its perennially popular X5. Sharing its platform and engine line-up with the 7-Series, but with permanent four-wheel-drive, it will be a genuine rival to the Range Rover, and will come with pricing to match.
The new Z4 brings weight saving technology to BMW’s archetypal sports car, making it lighter and more engaging to drive than ever. It’s also beautifully stylish, with a range of engines and options to suit all tastes and pockets. The previous X4 enjoyed a long sales life and is still desirable today – the new 2018 model is even more so.
A huge model launch for BMW, the X5 has an extremely hard act to follow. Its predecessor remains one of the best high-performance luxury SUVs on the market even now, but with stronger competition from the likes of the new Range Rover Velar, the next one needs to be even better. The new model promises even more in the way of driver appeal and technology when it arrives towards the end of the year.
A new M5 is a very special thing indeed, and the new-for-2018 model doesn’t disappoint, taking the already wonderful 5-Serries to new levels of performance and desirability. Its 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 engine is a masterpiece of engineering, it’s stupidly quick and it’s beautifully put together, while its rear-biased xDrive four-wheel-drive makes it even grippier than ever before.
The most important new BMW of 2018 will be the next generation 3-Series, which is tipped to appear later this year. It will retain its traditional rear-wheel-drive chassis, but will use comprehensive mass reduction technology to bring its weight right down. Plug-in and all-electric models are also expected, and the lighter weight should give class-leading range. Coming soon, no doubt, to a company car park near you.